The Ghosts of Cité Soleil (2006)

For the Haitians depicted in the film there is no right way of living in the sense of a "safe" person mentality, there is no compromise/alternative. Watch this documentary, in which some of the emotional tools of film-making integrate smoothly within the faint storyline.

It is simply a story of gang warfare in an environment of extreme poverty and shifting political loyalties. They have families and they want the same things that every human being desires. Asget Leth takes an incredible risk documenting the existence of the secret army, known as 'the chimeres', in the Haitian capital sub-slum, Cite Soleil.
The Ghosts Of Cite Soleil is the story of young armed men from the slum being used for political purposes: it narrates the personal lives of two gangsters who, along with several other gangs, were employed by former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide to intimidate and make political opponents disappear. The brothers are not shown as completely good or bad either. They' re involved in vicious street gangs although there is still a sense of brotherly love between them, despite the odds.

People have called this film racist. I don't see any of the Haitian people as evil thugs, I see them as victims and survivors used and manipulated by corrupt governments. There is no truth--there is no right--there is no way out. The conflict will only end when one side is wiped out. We see their deplorable living conditions and their bones prominent on their scrawny bodies when they shower and we realize that they are desperate.
You need to understand. After watching"Ghosts of Cité Soleil", you cannot wipe out the image of their lives from your mind!

1 comment:

Christie said...

This was really powerful and moving. Since watching, I've become active in Haiti action networks, and plan on going to offer aid.